Friday, April 12, 2013

NCAA FROZEN FOUR: Championship game (Saturday 4/13)

Yale 21-12-3 ECAC vs. Quinnipiac 30-7-5 ECAC Final 6:00 p.m. (CT) ESPN (206 DirecTV / Dish 140)
Yale’s offense is ranked #26 nationally and #26 defense.
Quinnipiac’s offense ranked #15 nationally and #1 defense

For the first time in 24 years, the NCAA Champion will hail from the ECAC of Division I hockey.

The last team from the ECAC to win the NCAA title was Harvard in 1989, when they beat the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers 4-3 in overtime.

Yeah, that’s not a misprint; the NCAA Champion for the 2012-13 season will hail from the ECAC.

Bobcats snarl

All season long, the Quinnipiac Bulldogs have had to listen to naysayers talk about their number one rankings and their strength of schedule. Last night, the Bobcats did their talking on the ice.

All of those doubts were removed, as the Bobcats enjoyed a three-goal first period against the high flying Saint Cloud State Huskies and skated to a 4-1 win against the Saint Cloud State Huskies.

Saint Cloud State got behind the eight ball quickly, when the Bobcats scored three-goals in less than 15 minutes. Scoring for the Bobcats; were forwards, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Ben Arnt and Jeremy Langlois. Incidentally, that was all of the offense the Bobcats would need.  

Saint Cloud would finally get on the board, at the 06:25 mark of the second period; with a nifty goal from freshman forward Joey Benik. Unfortunately, that was all the closer that the Huskies would get, as Kellen Jones would score the Bobcats fourth-goal at the 14:31 mark of the second period.

The Huskies would make a surge in every period, but the Bobcats got strong goaltending from their Hobey Baker Finalist goaltender Eric Hartzell who stopped 33 of 34 shots to preserve the win.  When the Huskies were able to get through the Bobcats stifling defense, Hartzell was there to take away the Huskies grade “A” scoring chances.

While the Huskies outshot the Bobcats 34-28, the only statistic that mattered was the final score 4-1, in favor of the Bobcats.

With the win, the Bobcats advance to the title game of the NCAA Frozen Four Championship game on Saturday April 13, 2012, at 6:00pm (CT) on ESPN.

Bulldog bite

Dominating, physical and relentless, is how I would describe the Yale Bulldogs. Also, did I mention that the Bulldogs are a miserable team to play against?

Last night, the Bulldogs frustrated the UMass Lowell River Hawks, getting in the shooting lanes and taking away the River Hawks little time and space.  

During the first period, the Bulldogs’ pressure kept the River Hawks hemmed up in their own end, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Every time the River Hawks tried the move the puck, there was a Bulldog forward on them.

Yale took a two-goal lead with goals from Mitch Witek and Antoine Laganiere. Yale definitely had the momentum in the first period and would outshoot UMass Lowell 11-5.

UMass Lowell would tie the game in the second period, scoring two-goals, 14 seconds apart, from Riley Wetmore and Joseph Pendenza, but that was all the closer the River Hawks would get. Yale would regain the momentum in the third period, outshooting the River Hawks 16-3.  

Yale once again, needed an extra frame to beat the UMass Lowell River Hawks 3-2. Senior forward Andrew Miller scored at the 06:59 mark of the first overtime to send the
With the win, the Bulldogs advance to the title game of the NCAA Frozen Four Championship game on Saturday April 13, 2012, at 6:00pm (CT) on ESPN.

How they got here

Yale beat Minnesota (3-2, O.T.), North Dakota (4-1) and UMass Lowell (3-2, O.T.), to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four Championship game.

Quinnipiac beat Canisius (4-3), Union (5-1) and Saint Cloud State (4-1), to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four Championship game.

Players to watch

Quinnipiac Bobcats forwards:  Jeremy Langlois (13g-18a—31pts), Mathew Peca (15g-15a—30), , Jordan Samuels-Thomas (17g-12a—29pts), Kellen Jones (13g-14a—27pts), Connor Jones (12g-14a—26pts). Defense: Mike Dalhuisen (8g-8a—16pts), Loren Barron (3g-13a—16pts), Zach Davies (2g-15a—17pts). Goaltender: Eric Hartzell 30-6-5, 1.53 GAA, .934 save percentage.

Bulldogs Forwards: Kenny Agostino (17g-23a—40pts), Andrew Miller (17g-22a—39pts), Antoine Laganiere (15g-13a—28pts). Defense: Tommy Fallen (7g-16a—23pts), Ryan Obuchowski (3g-9a-12pts), Gus Young (2g-6a—8pts). Goalies Jeff Malcolm 19-6-2, 2.33 GAA, .915 save percentage.